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WHYY and Saint Thomas the Apostle School in Wilmington will participate in the Bridges Project, a new initiative designed to motivate students to read, while building a bridge between school and home.

The Bridges Project will help teachers and parents work together to more effectively use technology to improve children's reading and writing. The project, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, is a public-private partnership, including eight public television stations around the country, a private sector content company and 75 schools in eight states.

WHYY will provide Saint Thomas the Apostle School with a toolkit of resource materials for students in kindergarten through 4th grade and their teachers. The toolkit includes six CD-ROMs, three DVDs, six videos, six books, posters, bookmarks, etc., based on the award-winning WHYY series READING RAINBOW. Teachers will use the materials in direct classroom instruction.

In addition, 30 family take-home kits will be loaned to families involved in the project. These kits each contain a CD-ROM, video, book and an activity sheet.

"WHYY is committed to providing learning resources to both schools and homes in our community," says Sandra Andino who works in WHYY's Children Services. Andino will visit Saint Thomas the Apostle School to distribute the toolkits to teachers and provide instruction on how to use them.

Saint Thomas the Apostle School teachers and parents will provide feedback on the Bridges Project toolkits and their comments will be used to help define new models for improving student literacy. These models and effective practices will be shared nationally at the conclusion of the project.

Saint Thomas the Apostle School will also be supporting a "Family Technology Night." The family night is an opportunity for parents, students and teachers to come together and learn more about the Bridges Project resources and do hands-on and technology-based activities.

In addition, WHYY will also participate in the Bridges Project with four elementary schools in the Penn-Delco School District in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

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